Does Illinois Workers’ Compensation Cover Pain and Suffering?
Pain and suffering is the legal term for physical and emotional stress that is caused from an injury. In a lawsuit, a claimant can seek compensation for these damages.
Unfortunately pain and suffering are not covered under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act. This is part of what makes a Workers’ Comp case different than a personal injury lawsuit.
That might sound unfair, but in exchange for workers giving up their rights to sue their employer, they are not required to prove that their employer was at fault when they got injured. In other words, if you throw out your back while lifting a package, you don’t have to prove that your employer was negligent or that they should have done something to prevent the injury. As long as you were injured while performing your job duties in a reasonable manner, you are entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits.
However, if you’ve developed a mental or emotional disorder because of your physical work-related injury, you may be able to receive extra compensation. For example, dealing with chronic pain from a workplace injury might lead to depression, anxiety, PTSD, or a sleep disorder. In that situation, the depression or sleep disorder would be considered a “compensable consequence” related to the original work injury, and the injured employee would generally be able to obtain treatment and other benefits for the mental or emotional condition as a part of the workers’ compensation case.
There are some special situations in which a worker is able to file a lawsuit against their employer in civil court, outside of the workers’ compensation case. and thus may be able to pursue lifetime pain and suffering damages as part of such claim .
If you have been injured on the job, you may have a lot of questions about the potential benefits available to you under this system. At Krol, Bongiorno & Given, we have handled well over 30,000 claims for injured workers throughout the state of Illinois. For immediate help with a work injury case, call (312) 726-5567 for a free consultation or contact us online.